Burakovsky will ‘be a star in the NHL,’ says Caps’ AHL coach

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Troy Mann is a big fan of Caps rookie Andre Burakovsky.

Mann, who’s currently coaching Burakovsky with Washington’s AHL affiliate in Hershey, recently heaped major praise on the 20-year-old, who’s appeared in three games for the Bears this season.

“[Burakovsky’s] a first-rounder that’s going to be a star in the NHL and he’s sent down here to play quality minutes,” Mann said, per Penn Live. “If we can get him on the same page from the team perspective, I think he can be the best player in the AHL.”

The 23rd overall pick at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, Burakovsky made the Caps out of training camp after spending last season with OHL Erie. He’s since appeared in 49 games for Washington, scoring nine goals and 21 points — 14th among rookies — but was sent down to Hershey after the Caps acquired Curtis Glencross prior to the deadline.

Washington GM Brian MacLellan said the demotion is temporary.

“I think Burakovsky’s done a good job on the first line, and there’s times where he’s struggled a little bit. I think it’s important for us to see where the team’s at right now,” he said, per the Washington Post. “The Burakovsky assignment is not permanent. We’re not sure what it’s going to be like. We need to look at our team with Glencross in it and Johansson on the first line.

“We don’t want Burakovsky sitting out or playing fourth-line minutes for the time being. When we use our recall, he’ll be up for good after that.”

It will be interesting to see when the Caps bring Burakovsky back up. The team is playing well lately, having won three of its last four, and Glencross is off to a good start with four points in his first three games.